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BBC confirms legal letter received from Gerry Adams over Spotlight Denis Donaldson murder claims

BBC confirms it has received a letter from Mr Adams' lawyers

Published 29/09/2016

Outside and inside the house
Outside and inside the house
Outside and inside the house
Outside and inside the house
Denis Donaldson stands beside Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams
The scene of Donaldson's murder in 2006

Gerry Adams is to sue the BBC over claims he sanctioned the killing of an IRA double agent.

The Sinn Fein president said he specifically and categorically denied the allegation levelled in a BBC documentary that he approved the killing of Denis Donaldson.

The explosive claim was made by an anonymous man, who claimed he was also a paid state agent in the IRA, to the Spotlight programme.

The BBC has said it stands by its journalism.

And on Thursday a spokesman confirmed it had received a letter from Mr Adams' laywers and "will respond in due course".

Mr Donaldson (55), a Sinn Fein official and close colleague of Mr Adams, was shot dead at an isolated cottage near Glenties in Co Donegal in April 2006 following his exposure as a British spy.

Mr Adams, who said he would have no issue speaking to police to reiterate his denial, had previously said he was consulting with his lawyer about potential legal action against the BBC.

On Thursday it was reported in the Andersonstown News that the Louth TD was to take legal action over the broadcaster for libel.

Responding to the report the Sinn Fein president said in a statement: "I have been consulting with my lawyers and we will now be taking action against the BBC in relation to the totally false allegation contained within the BBC Spotlight broadcast

“This matter is now in the hands of my lawyers and I will not be making any further comment."

Denis Donaldson
Denis Donaldson
Denis Donaldson
Scene of the murder in 2006
Outside and inside the house

The Belfast Telegraph exclusively revealed, also on Thursday, that the Real IRA carried out the Donaldson killing with one of its leaders saying Gerry Adams had nothing to do with the murder.

Further reading

Real IRA: We killed spy Donaldson - it had nothing to do with Sinn Fein chief Gerry Adams

Donaldson relatives reject claim he was killed by IRA on Adams' orders

Denis Donaldson family do not blame Provisional IRA for murder  

Donaldson murder: Police say Provos not to blame - 'Genuine surprise' at BBC allegations  

Fingerprints of Gerry Adams critic found in Donaldson murder cottage  

 

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